News and Tribune

Education/Schools

March 16, 2013

New Tech talks cool between Clarksville, school

Town officials want proposal from Clarksville schools for use of Value City property

(Continued)

CLARKSVILLE — MAINSTREET AND MONEY

Knott also is frustrated that the redevelopment commission is looking to invest about the same amount elsewhere as it would spend to renovate the exterior of the former Value City building.

“Redevelopment members, and Mr. Popp in particular, noted that there is over a million dollars that is going to be given to a retirement community to locate out on Progress Road behind the Walmart area,” Knott said. “... That’s a hefty amount of money to recruit a business that’s going to bring in $7- and $8-an-hour jobs.”

Popp disputes that the development — which had its district development plan approved by the Clarksville Plan Commission on March 6 — would be the source of low-paying jobs, but conceded that the development company — Mainstreet — has requested $1.1 million from the redevelopment commission.

“I’m not denying those numbers, quite frankly. Those should have been confidential at this time ... ,” Popp said. “But that is the number that we’re currently discussing. Once we get the impact study, any further negotiations, which we’re still working with ... it is probably going to be around that number. We’re talking about a $14 million investment there.”

The Mainstreet complex could add up to 125 jobs with a payroll of up to $4 million, said Clarksville Redevelopment Director Nick Lawrence, but he added that an economic impact report on the project is still being developed.

“You can kind of get an idea of what an average wage would look like, what an average salary would look like just by doing the math,” Lawrence said. “You’re probably looking at skilled and semi-skilled nursing type jobs, CNA jobs as well. I’m working to get a breakdown of what that would look like as well.”

A payroll of $4 million with 125 positions equals a salary of $32,000 annually per person.

Mainstreet will not operate the complex, and instead would use a third-party operator, Lawrence said.

“It seems to be a very positive project,” Lawrence said. “We’re happy to see a private industry come in and commit to a project of that size and that capital investment, and we’re excited by the possibility of their location here.”

Mainstreet wants to begin construction in May, Lawrence said.

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